Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unused Resources, Lost Opportunities

I’ve been struggling with something for a bit, and decided rather than trying to be politically correct, or trying to avoid sounding like I’m giving a good friend a shameless plug…..I’m going to give a good friend a shameless plug for all the right reasons, and if you don’t like it…..too bad; Freedom of Speech and all that.

Have you been to http://www.tigerschmittendorf.com/ ? No? Why not? If you weren’t aware of the existence of the site, I’ll give you a free pass, providing you march yourself over there to check it out. Do it today.

If you know about the site, but haven’t checked it out, then I’m going to assume that you and your fire department or ambulance squad or firematic organization have none of the following issues:

  • Recruitment---got all the volunteers you can handle? Are you drowning in new recruits? Are you drawing younger members by the dozens?
  • Retention: --are your drill nights attended by 90% of your members? When the automatic alarm call comes, are you fighting off eager firefighters or dragging them off the truck based on seniority? Do your members show up in droves when you have a (pick one) car wash, blood drive, pasta dinner, equipment fundraiser etc. And are they all there for setup, event management and breakdown/cleanup? Or is it more like my department, where the same 8-10 people show up for everything but you don't see the others until you get an "exciting" call?
  • Funding: --Don’t need more cash? All your members are properly outfitted (leather boots for everyone….hooray!!!) , you’re all driving in brand new or late model apparatus, you have a rescue boat, rescue snowmobile, brush truck and you have plenty of dough to keep the lights and heat on? You’ve never applied for a grant or thought about it because you have more funds than you’ll ever need?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.See, there’s a member on http://www.firefighternation.com/ who has dedicated years of his life to helping out ailing departments. Tiger Schmittendorf (http://www.firefighternation.com/profile/Tiger5) has almost 30 years of fire service experience coupled with a career background in sales, marketing and public relations. He has the expertise, unique fresh approach and brains to back up his promises.

Are Tiger’s services free? No. He’s an educator and leader, not a privately funded philanthropist, but he does deliver.

Show me the money you say?Sure, not a problem—Here are just a few of the grants that he wrote and obtained for some folks who decided they needed his help:

  • $1,000,000 - Wrote narrative that helped eight (8) local fire departments secure grant awards for interoperable communications systems as member agencies of a communications coalition in Erie County
  • $275,000 - Department of Homeland Security SAFER Grant to cover advertising campaign, tuition scholarships and training reimbursements to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters for the Doyle Hose Co. #1 Volunteer Fire Company

And that’s just a sampling.If you are experiencing any of the difficulties that most departments are now facing with budget cuts and reduced staffing, then do yourself a favor and go to http://www.tigerschmittendorf.com/ , contact him and ask him what he thinks.

It’s not going to cost you a dime to check out his info and initiate a conversation.

I think you’ll be glad you did.

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